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Reform and Abolitionist Movements

Reform and Abolitionist Movements

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Storyboard Description

1850s America - Reform and Abolitionist Movements - This storyboard can be created to give students a better perspective of the various reform movements that were both formed and strengthened throughout the mid-late 1800s, particularly in the 1850s. By examining these movements, students can better understand the evolving social culture that existed on the doorstep of the Civil War, as well as understand the more expansive social changes that existed as well. From women's rights movements, to transcendentalism, and of course, abolitionism, students will garner a better comprehensive knowledge of how people desired and acted on change.

Storyboard Text

  • We demand RIGHTS!
  • Women deserve EQUALITY!
  • Fair Treatment!
  • Transcendentalism revolved around the idea of addressing and escaping the many ills of society that resulted from industrialization, slavery, and poverty. Led by major reformers such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcendentalists believed people should trust themselves, their own ideas, and imagination. By doing so they could 'transcend', or go beyond what they can see or feel.
  • We must change our perspective
  • Women experienced a great push for reformed rights. With expansion of working opportunities, political influence, and increased social roles, women continued to progress in the civil rights arena. Events including the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 highlight women's push for rights, with leaders like Elizabeth Cady Stanton emerging as a strong voice for women.
  • Abolitionism was one of the most important reform movements of the mid and late 1800s. It called for the complete end of slavery. Although the idea of abolitionism had existed since the institution of American government, it particularly expanded throughout the mid-1800s, as the threat slavery spread to new territory and the 'slave power' expanded.
  • My father was foolish. Keeping slaves is horrible! I am going to free you.
  • The Transcendentalism movement produced some of the greatest literary figures of America. With popular poets and essayists like Emerson and Walt Whitman, people began questioning the goals and purpose of life, and examined their relation to industry, poverty, and slavery. They helped change the way Americans thought, created, and addressed the prevailing issues of the time.
  • The women's rights movements of the late-mid 1800s had tremendous influence on later progress. Women would gain the right to vote in 1920. Work experience in factories and industry allowed women autonomy in arguing for better wages and conditions. Women's fight for civil rights closely coincided with the message of abolitionists.
  • The abolitionist movement had a tremendous effect on the social, political, and eventual war stage throughout the mid-1800s. With the release of popular novels such as 'Uncle Tom's Cabin', the newly strengthened Fugitive Slave Law, and a growing resistance to the expansion of political slave powers, the abolitionist movement was crucial in the overall fight against slavery and its expansion.
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